The origins of Movember can be traced to 2003, when two men in Australia, Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, met for a beer in Melbourne. At that point in time, the popularity of moustaches had waned, but Garone and Slattery joked about restoring the stache to its once-lofty status. At the time, a friend’s mother was fundraising for breast cancer, and Garone and Slattery were inspired to combine their efforts to bring back the moustache with efforts to raise awareness about men’s health and prostate cancer. In a testament to the two friends’ skills in the art of persuasion, they were able to find 30 men willing to take up the challenge to grow a moustache. Those who accepted the challenge agreed to follow the rules of Movember, which included paying $10 to grow a moustache.
That initial campaign generated significant enthusiasm among the initial participants, so the following year a decision was made to formalize their efforts and officially support a worthy cause related to men’s health. After some research, prostate cancer was chosen as the issue to formally support. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, though not an official men’s health partner of Movember, agreed to accept any funds generated by the 2004 campaign. By that time, 450 men, including some in Spain and the United Kingdom, had agreed to take part, ultimately raising more than $50,000 in Australian dollars.